note: Originally written as a bedtime story for the unbelievably awesome WM crew. The request was a "fairy-tale" and this is what popped out. Beware the crack, and enjoy!
"I think this is a really stupid idea," Sakura remarked.
Naruto ignored her, instead concentrating on keeping the sand laden wind out of his eyes. Ok, maybe he should've gotten camels or something since they were crossing the desert and all, but the horses had looked way cooler...
Although they were now much less so, having gotten stuck in the sand immediately upon entering the WASTELAND OF DOOM. He'd made Sai stay behind to dig the horses out, so now it was just him and Sakura, trekking through a DESPAIR FILLED LANDSCAPE in hopes of finding the MYTHICAL TOWER OF EPIC...ness. Rumor had it that long ago, a princess of great beauty had been cursed by a witch to sleep forevermore in the MYTHICAL TO-er, the tower, guarded by some ferocious dragons, evil spirits, an impenetrable desert, etc. Typical fare for evil witches.
As soon as he'd found out about the gorgeous, beautiful, probably kind and did-he-mention-hot princess, Naruto had grabbed his childhood friends and saddled up. Having just turned eighteen, he felt like it was his duty to prove his epic, heroic self to his father. Rescuing really good looking, long-lost royalty from the clutches of some FIENDISH SORCERESS seemed to suffice.
"How much farther do we have to go?"
"Uhh..." He wasn't sure, really. Sakura, noticing Naruto's general lack of coherency and brain function, rolled her eyes and sighed. She might've also said "it freaking figures", too, but it was hard to tell. They were both wrapped from head to toe in large cloaks, and the only bit of her he could see was the strip of skin around her eyes. He was sweltering and there were probably decidedly unattractive sweat stains on his back, but the pink haired girl seemed completely unfazed as usual.
"Please tell me you have a general idea of where we're going."
Silence as he contemplated on how to tell her that no, he definitely did not. "Er, there's not much of an exact address per se. But how hard could it be to find some humongous tower guarded by dragons in an empty desert?"
She slapped her head in exasperation, "Do you see any sign of towers, dragons, or general looming, menacing evil?"
"Not as such, no."
They both stopped walking, and took a few long seconds to look at each other.
Was this supposed to be a staring contest?
Finally, Sakura looked away before sinking down to the sand on her haunches. "Oh god, we're going to die here. We're going to die here and people will find my bones years from now and laugh at me because I'm wearing a hot pink cloak."
It was the only color left out of what he'd hastily grabbed from the castle before he left. Naruto personally thought it looked quite nice.
Sakura was making a noise that suspiciously sounded like sobs. He figured he'd give her some privacy and took the time to survey the landscape. The tower couldn't be far off, he could feel it in his gut. There was generally nothing around but piles and piles of sand, but in the distance-perhaps thirty or forty yards away-he could make out what looked to be a sign post.
"Sakura-chan! I think I see something!" Not waiting for the girl to answer, Naruto took off in the direction of the stick thing. As he neared, he could see that it was a sign!
'MYTHICAL TOWER OF EPIC...NESS HALF A MILE NORTH', it proclaimed in large, somewhat faded letters, and underneath that in fine print, 'Accompanied by fire breathing dragons, evil henchmen, general air of gloom and doom, etc. Can't miss it.'
"I can't believe it's actually called that. I can't believe there's actually a sign."
Sakura had caught up to the orange clad boy and was eyeing the sign incredulously. He look at her strangely, "Why'd you think I was calling it that? It'd be a really stupid name otherwise."
"So this desert's actually called the, uh, what was it? Wasteland of Doom slash Despair Filled Landscape?"
"No, that's just what I named it."
"I...you know what? Never mind. Let's just get on with this."
He was perfectly happy to comply. As they both steadily made their way to the MTOE...N, he giddily imagined the look on the reputedly really hot princess' face when he woke her up with a true-love's-kiss.
The tower was a bit disappointing, really. There were no dragons and no evil henchmen, not even the promised aura of gloom and doom. All there remained was the tower itself, a bit worse for wear after all this time, and great big heaps of bones.
"I think this used to be the dragon," Sakura sniffed, gingerly poking a huge, grinning skull with a foot.
"I was kinda hoping I'd get to kill something. You won't tell anybody the dragon was already dead, will you?"
"I won't say anything as long as we get out of here alive."
Reassured, Naruto made his way to the tower's entrance. The large stone door was still intact though, and he wasn't really sure how to open it. Pushing against it didn't work-it was too heavy, and there wasn't like...a battering ram or anything that he could see nearby. Sakura stood next to him, eyeing the door critically, "Well, maybe we if use one of the dragon bones and apply the force exactly the right way, we could get it to open without the bone shattering..."
Maybe there was a side door.
Leaving Sakura to stare at the entrance, he made his way around the tower. There were no windows that he could see, but in the back, he found a small, wooden door, largely rotted through. Jackpot!
"Sakura-chan! Sakura-chan!" He ran back to the front of the tower, where the girl was now scribbling complicated looking equations into the sand.
"Don't bother me now! I've almost got it figured out! If the bone could generate seven hundred and twenty newtons..."
"But I found a back door!"
Sakura froze, looking up at him with a somewhat odd expression on her face. Naruto beamed.
The inside of the tower was sparsely furnished, dusty, and decorated with more skeletons.
"I think these used to be the evil henchmen." He guessed as he unclasped his bright orange cloak and draped it over a moldy chair. Underneath he was wearing full WARRIOR PRINCE gear: kickass boots, impressive shiny armor, and a nice, big sword. He took several long moments to make sure that there were no scratches on the sword.
"Er, what if the princess is dead?" Sakura looked a bit disconcerted to be surrounded by all this dust and mold. She hadn't taken off the cloak, but compromised by removing the hood. Really, dead bodies didn't faze her at all but the girl freaked out at the first sign of dirt.
"I mean," the pinkette continued, "It must've been a really long time since the uh, witch cursed her. Or what if she's really, really old and wrinkly by now?"
Naruto looked at her exasperatedly, "Of course the witch accounted for that, duh. As long as she doesn't wake up she doesn't age."
Sakura twitched, "Right, of course."
"You must have never read the OLD AND SACRED MANUAL ON HOW TO ATTAIN YOUR STATUS OF EPIC...NESS, have you?"
"Sorry, no, wasn't in the required reading."
"You were such a deprived child." Naruto wrinkled his nose before making his way through to the stairs in the back of the large room. The climb itself wasn't long, and he got to use his sword to clear away cobwebs. It was good practice for when he might need to swing it for real, because you never know if there might still be some dragons left nearby.
He hoped there was, anyways.
Soon, they reached the top of the tower where another wooden door awaited. This one was still relatively intact, although the doorknob seemed to have rusted shut. No matter! That's what his trusty sword was for.
Naruto let out a huge HEROIC YELL before hacking the knob to pieces. He grinned at his handywork; if that'd been a dragon it wouldn't have stood a chance.
"And what did that accomplish, really?" Sakura asked from his side.
The door splintered a second later.
"Works with me," she said.
He stepped inside first, surprised to find himself in an opulent chamber. Though the velvet curtains obscuring the large bed in the center of the room was moth-eaten, the rest of the space was in remarkably good shape except for the accumulated dust of the centuries.
"...could've made a spell to dust..." Sakura muttered from behind him.
He ignored her, preoccupied with the bed and the shadowy outline he could see through the fabric. This was it. Time to meet the gorgeous love of his life. Time to rescue the damsel in distress. Time to be the HERO.
Naruto walked forward to the bed and drew the hangings softly aside to gaze upon the stunning visage of his beloved...
The princess was a man.
"I think you got the legend wrong, Naruto," Sakura remarked dryly from his side.
"Er, he's kind of...girly though. He could probably pass for a princess, if you'd like," she continued.
Naruto squawked indignantly. He was not marrying a boy, even though he was really girly. He had the requisite PALE, ALABASTER SKIN and LONG, DARK EYELASHES that tangled at the corners. His nose was straight and he had cheekbones that could have cut glass. All the standard princess-y features, really. Except for the penis, of course.
"And his hair reminds me of a chicken's ass." Sakura added after a second glance.
"What do I do now, Sakura-chan?" He wailed, tugging on the girl's sleeves plaintively.
Sakura gave him a look that clearly told him he was on his own.
"You gotta wake him up then, Sakura-chan, with a TRUE LOVE'S KISS."
"We can't just leave him here!"
"Nooo, come back!"
The next few seconds were very confusing, as Naruto succeeded in grasping the edge of Sakura's cloak and dragging her back. The sudden movement however, caused the girl to trip, and the long and short of it was that she was now somehow sprawled across the sleeping man's prone body, lips smashed together.
Bloody hell, Naruto winced, that looked painful.
When Sakura managed to disentangle her limbs from the prince's, her expression was enough to make Naruto's blood run cold. But he stood his ground because even if the princess turned out to have male-parts, HE WAS STILL A HERO AND HEROES DON'T RUN IN THE FACE OF FEAR.
"You have thirty seconds to make a run for it," Sakura informed him calmly.
Naruto gulped. It was odd how intimidating a five foot two girl with pink hair could look, he thought vaguely as he prepared himself for the pain that was sure to come.
Sakura stood up from the bed.
Naruto didn't move.
She took another step closer.
He gulped, but curbed the impulse to flee.
The girl cracked her knuckles.
Would anyone really know if he made a run for it? There was no one here but him and Sakura and the other bloke was asleep. All he had to do was make sure he catered to his friend's every whim and he was positive Sakura wouldn't tell. She'd enjoy black mailing him too much.
Thankfully, something stopped the girl's advance. Something in the form of a large, pale hand wrapping around her wrist.
Naruto felt relieved. Nothing could be scarier than a Sakura on rampage. Nothing.
Oh hell, Naruto finally realized, the guy was awake!
"S-stop that," the voice coming from the bed was raspy from disuse.
The pinkette immediately froze.
Well, Naruto thought. This had worked out rather nicely.
The man in the bed coughed, once, twice, before sitting up, head in his hand, the other still wrapped around Sakura's wrist.
There was silence for a few moments, and then the man spoke again.
"You have to marry me," the prince flatly stated.
"Excuse me?" She said. Naruto didn't know why his friend was so surprised, this was how things worked in EPIC TALES OF LOVE AND RESCUE, anyways.
The prince raised his head a little and appraised her.
"Could've been worse. Pretty enough," he muttered before his eyes settled on the general vicinity of Sakura's chest, "Could've used a bit more in the breast area though, and that cloak's right ugly."
Her only response to his admittedly rude comment was a wordless scream of rage.
"I'm not marrying you. This is a wide, wide world, you can find some other stupid girl!"
At this point Naruto deemed it safe to intervene, "No, Sakura-chan! That's not how it works! Everyone knows that-"
"I have to marry whoever woke me up," the prince finished for him. Ahah! At least it seemed like someone had read their OLD AND SACRED MANUAL ON HOW TO ATTAIN YOUR STATUS OF EPIC...NESS.
Sakura didn't seem to agree, "That's ridiculous! All I did was fall on you really hard. It wasn't even a real kiss!"
"You idiot, no one had to kiss me. Didn't you read the sign?" With his free hand (the other was still gripping Sakura's wrist) he pointed to a sign tacked above the headboard of the bed, which neither Naruto nor Sakura had bothered to read.
Whomever wakes the prince up is magically bound to be stuck with the douche bag for life.
a really pissed off sorceress.
Sakura looked horrified. "But I don't want to be stuck with you forever! I don't even know your name!"
The prince sighed, "Uchiha Sasuke, nice to meet you too. Now come here, I've got to seal the deal."
"I don't want to seal the deal-!" But with one firm tug, Sakura's lips were plastered to Prince Sasuke's again.
Naruto shifted a bit uncomfortably to the side.
Another few minutes passed and still neither of them were coming up for air. Somehow, Sakura was now on Sasuke's lap, her hands raking rather enthusiastically through his hair.
Naruto felt like a bit of a voyeur, really, just watching them go at it. He hoped they finished soon.
He coughed, "Er, should we get going?"
Sasuke looked up just long enough to smirk at the blond and to draw the velvet hangings around the bed again, before promptly going back to making out with a very willing Sakura.
Well, Naruto thought grumpily, he was still telling everyone that he'd slayed the dragon.
a/n: And they lived happily ever after! Excuse whatever mistakes are left. It's five seventeen in the morning and I've just finished vehemently denying my impending wedding to Coldemort. HE'S YOURS CHRISTINE. ALL. YOURS.
Tell me what you guys think!